Post # 1
- Wedding: October 2016 - His Way Church & Chesapeake Room @ Downs Park
I am in need of some advice/kind words/help. I have been struggling with depression for a few years now and on top of that I am a master procrastinator. Combining the two, things are starting to get a bit out of control lately.
This is supposed to be my last semester before I get my bachelor’s degree (graduating in May) and I am literally screwing myself. One of the courses I am in right now is literally the most difficult, most demanding course of my entire college career. Two research papers are required along with other smaller assignments. I flat out did not do the first paper. I had a meeting with the professor and explained my struggles with depression and she was understanding but said that she could not give extensions/really do anything about it other than be here to answer questions and help along the way. That was fine, as I was not expecting an “easy way out.” She said that as long as I turn everything else in, arrive to class on time and don’t fail any other assignments that I should be able to pass with a C, even without turning in the first research paper. Well, I am on spring break (class resumes tomorrow) and during that time I was supposed to have done extensive work on my second research paper….I have done nothing. I know that if I don’t do this I will fail, which will result in not being able to graduate–but that doesn’t even seem to be enough reason/motivation to do anything about it!
I also have paperwork that I am expected to hand in for work on Wednesday, which is backed up for months.
I just don’t know how to get myself out of this state. I don’t know how to make myself do these things without it being so painful that all I want to do is crawl in bed. It’s hard, bees. And it sucks. I tried talking with my mother about it and all she said was “put your big-girl panties on and deal with it” which was incredibly insensitive and I don’t think she has any idea what depression is or how it works. She just thinks I’m sad or feeling sorry for myself and having occassional “blues.”
If any of you have depression or serious procrastination issues, how are you specifically conquering them? What methods do you use to help you get through these seemingly impossible tasks? I could really use some techniques/advice.
PS– Please don’t comment if the only thing you can suggest is seeking professional/medical help. I am already in the process of exploring this as an option to get help.
Post # 2
I struggled through some rough bouts of depression in college and also procrastinated quite a bit (still do). I had some semesters where I had a terrible time trying to get through assignments.
What worked for me was to set a schedule down to ten minute increments if needed. I would do that for an entire week at a time when I needed to get stuff done. So I would schedule the time I would sleep, the time I would work out, the time I would shower, time for assignments, time for breaks (and so on). This worked for me because I’m a big list maker and love checking stuff off my list (even if it’s something small and silly it can feel motivating for me).
I also found study buddies in my classes and would go to the library or a cafe with them. Getting out of my apartment just really helped me get work done for some reason. Do you know anyone in your class that you could meet up with? Or do you have a favorite cafe/library?
If I was in this situation, I would make a list of all of my assignments I need to get done. From there, I would break down the larger assignments into smaller sections. Depending on how much time you have left, you could break your paper down into smaller sections. This always made papers seem more manageable to me and I would get that slight feeling of accomplishment at each step which would help motivate me to get started on the next step. Then, I would schedule in the time I would spend at the library and make sure to schedule in some break time.
Good luck bee! I know it’s hard to stay motivated when you’re struggling with depression but you can do this!
Post # 3
- Wedding: October 2016 - His Way Church & Chesapeake Room @ Downs Park
Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it. Breaking things down into small increments makes a lot of sense, actually. That is very helpful.
I am going to force myself to look at everything I need to do *dreading it* and then make the list. That in itself is going to be an accomplishment!
I also like the idea of leaving the house. Changing the scenery might do some good. Thanks for all your suggestions 🙂
Post # 4
Getting the right amount of sleep always helped me. Sometimes I would procrastinate even going to bed, so I would sit awake for hours and then get so little sleep, and feel even worse the next day. Or, if you are having a period where you tend to sleep too long, then make sure you ALWAYS set an alarm and make yourself get up. Sleeping too long will also make you feel like crap.
In order to get myself to jump start on tasks, I would do something first that would make me feel better. Take a shower, put on some lotion, vacuum the apartment, brush my teeth, drink some tea, eat some fruit, etc. That kind of goes with the sleep thing – anything that takes care of your body will help draw you out of your funk.
With assignments, making a list of what I have to do helps break it down. Smaller tasks are easier to find motivation for. Maybe for the big research paper – 1) Find/save sources. 2) Read sources and sticky note/underline important bits. 3) Type up all your underlined bits in lists by category/topic, which basically makes an outline. 4) Write the section for each category. 5) Write intro and conclusion. On your checklist you can break this down even further, like for #2 and #4 you can have a box you can check off when you finish the work for each source or section. Checking off boxes = feeling accomplished!! I like to even make check boxes for stuff I have already done by the time I make my list – I go ahead and check it off right after I make the list, and it feels nice.
This is still always going to be hard, even if you know doing these things will make you feel better! I’m sure you know that already. Depression sucks your motivation away. You will not always be able to make yourself do any of these things and that happens – but the few days you do, it usually lasts for most of the day, and you can get a lot done in one good day! Even when you have bad days, don’t give up! Good luck!
Post # 5
Love lists!! XD Also, I definitely agree with the change of scenery thing! Getting out of my apartment, even to just sit outside for a few minutes, always helped.
Post # 6
I feel your pain. Imagine having anxiety too! On a good day Im too tired/depressed to do anything and too anxious and worried to sleep. One thing that works for me is Caffeine. Not a long term solution but A Once daily diet pill can be handy when I need to get stuff done. Some coffee throughout the day along with it helps too. You may feel a bit strange at first because your heart will beat faster and you will be sweaty.
I have had many people say you just need to change scenery, suck it up, do one thing at a time but when you are depressed it is physically impossible. If you do get help your doctor will explain that to you. A doctor will be able to give you more effective treatment for your specific condition.